My husband and I had the pleasure of talking about IVF with a couple this past week, who are 3 and a half months pregnant after their first IVF attempt. First, it was so heart-warming to hear a success story; and on the first try, no less! Second, it was especially joyful, because it just so happens to be one of Lee’s cousins.
Knowing that they are about 5 months further along in this whole process than my husband and myself, it was such a breath of fresh air to talk to people who knew exactly how we felt. And one of the central points of the conversation was the need to communicate with friends and loved ones about the process. While they might not have chosen to go the blog route as I did, it was refreshing to hear that they too felt the need to share the experience with those closest to them.
When I asked why it was so important to them to share their experience, I was expecting their answer. I had an inkling that it was the same reason I felt the need to share.
Yes, try as we might to not feel ashamed of our inability to get pregnant, the shame is almost overwhelming. That’s why we need to talk about it. Talking about it seems to provide a sense of normalcy. Every time we talk about our fertility issues, we inevitably hear a story about someone else who suffers from the same issues. It makes us feel as though we’re not alone.
We’re not freaks. What we’re going through is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s estimated that 12% of couples suffer from some form of infertility. That means that they have a problem getting pregnant or a problem staying pregnant. Either way, I bet we’re not the only couple you know that is struggling.
If our desire for openness makes you uncomfortable, your silence makes us feel the same. My husband and I are about to test our relationship as we try to make our dream of becoming parents a reality. We need to know that those closest to us love and support us, no matter the outcome.
If you have questions, talk to us. If you don’t know what to say, tell us so. Just start the conversation. You’ll probably learn something and in the end you’ll be glad you did.